There’s one where you can walk just metres away from the spires of the Cathedral,
one where you can sit and watch the best essay films, one, again, where you can
enjoy a trendy aperitif or dine away from the chaos of the streets and their traffic.
Roofs are the new cult places of the city of Milan, the outposts that allow us to
live the city’s transformation or admire the dense historical fabric, with its entanglement of courtyards and small introverted spaces. They aspire to be special places, promoters of social relations and experiences, yet at the same time episodes that cansuggest other, increasingly heterogeneous, occasions to enjoy some spare time. Indeed, the rooftop garden designed by Piuarch sprang up from the idea of tracing outa replicable model: a surface inspired by international urban farming movements,
with an all-Italian philosophy and, most importantly, with the utmost attention to
the surrounding physical, environmental and human context. Yes, indeed. Because the
reconversion project for the roof of the offices in via Palermo 1, in Milan,
triggered a series of virtuous actions with minimum resources, showing that working
on residual spaces and turning them into reference points on a wider scale is
Above Piuarch’s offices, there rises a true open-air garden, built with a modular
system of pallets to create easy-to-assemble structures: the result is a network of
pathways, widenings for sunbathing, social gatherings or hosting short classes, and
small planted areas where vegetables, fruits, and aromatic plants grow together with flowers for enhanced aesthetics. Designed in collaboration with landscape architect
Cornelius Gavril, it represents the theme of urban farming going beyond the concept
of “0 miles” food: it has a teaching vocation, to show the growing cycle of plants,
especially to children; it is available to Piuarch’s team, for breaks or work
meetings; it ensures a pleasant view for those living around it and it improves the
building’s thermal performance.
In the heart of the Brera neighbourhood, Piuarch’s rooftop garden brings
high-altitude farming to Milan for the first time, with its dynamic and versatile
season-sensitive character but also with the possibility, from time to time, of
changing its all-green layout. A work in progress that every year faces radical
change in its configuration while maintaining its philosophy intact.
Founded in 1996 by Francesco Fresa, Germán Fuenmayor, Gino Garbellini and
Monica Tricario, Piuarch is a team of forty architects and engineers from all over
the world led by four partners and 8 associates. Piuarch develops public buildings,
office complexes, residences, commercial spaces, boutique and urban plans, with a
great attention to sustainability, the interaction between architecture and context
and the relationship with art, use of natural materials and a focus on energy saving. Awarded with the “2013 Italian Architect of the Year” prize and with two Gold Medals for “Honorable Mention” at the Milan Triennale, and several times exhibited at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, Piuarch’s portfolio includes numerous architectural and interior design projects for prestigious fashion brands (Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Givenchy, Les Hommes) internationally built.
copyright Daniele Cavadini